The Ford logo is easily one of the most recognizable logos in the world today to the point where people often refer to Ford not as Ford, but rather as the “Blue Oval”. However, have you ever stopped to wonder how the Ford logo has evolved over the years? Well, today we’ll be looking at the story of how the famous Ford blue oval logo came to be.
Henry Ford first started Ford Motor Company in 1903 in Detroit, Michigan with 11 investors which interestingly enough also included the Dodge Brothers who ultimately founded Dodge. Initially, the Ford Motor Company built cars just like most of its competitors in the day – making workers go to each car and assemble cars one piece of it at a time. This of course was not efficient and after visiting a Chicago slaughterhouse, Henry Ford came up with the idea of the assembly line. His idea was simple. Rather than have workers walk to the vehicles, what if they brought the vehicles to the workers.
By using a simple rope and bringing vehicles in production to the workers who were waiting to assemble the car, Ford was able to reduce production time of each Model T from 12.5 hours down to ultimately 24 seconds. This drastically reduced the cost of each vehicle produced down to as low as $300.
As a result, Ford became a massive success as the assembly line quickly made the Ford Motor Company into the world’s largest automaker. Prior to the discontinuation of the Model T, Ford had made more than 15 million of the vehicles propelling Ford and their logo into one of the most recognizable names in the world!
Ford Logo 1903 to 1906
The first Ford logo is quite a bit different from the rest of Ford’s logos. The logo had a fancy nouveau border which was commonly seen in European designs and the middle of the logo had some fancy lettering which wrote “Ford Motor Co. Detroit, -Mich.-“. This logo was used from 1903 until its replacement in 1907.
Ford Logo 1907 to 1912
The second Ford logo is the first logo to resemble the Ford logo we all know and love today. While rumor has it that this was Henry Ford’s actual signature, this is not true as the lettering style was actual designed by Ford designer Childe Harold Wills.
Ford Logo 1912
In 1912, Ford experimented with a winged pyramid concept which included the Ford signature and the words “THE UNIVERSAL CAR” underneath. The new concept was one that Henry Ford himself didn’t really like and as a result, this logo was scrapped the next year.
Ford Logo 1912-1927
After the unique winged Ford logo, Ford went to something a bit more basic, encapsulating the Ford signature inside the famous oval we know of today. This logo was actually used by Ford in Great Britain since 1907, but wasn’t rolled out to the entire Ford fleet until 1912. The logo was designed by British designers who liked the oval shape because they believe it represented professional authority, reliability, and affordability.
Ford Logo 1927-1957
Ford officially used the “Blue Oval” in 1927 when they colored in their previous logo blue.
Ford Logo 1957-1976
From 1957, Ford went with a more angular version of their previous logo, making the logo look a bit more like a squished diamond than an oval.
Ford Logo 1976-Present
Ultimately, Ford returned to the blue oval shape with a more pronounced oval than a circular one. This logo is sometimes still used today.
In 2003, Ford unveiled their Centennial Blue Oval which was created to celebrate Ford’s 100 years in existence.